Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015 + fun stuff + Grammy Pags Stories updates

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Here's some fun ~ happening now!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Merry Christmas, Woozler by Rhonda Paglia

Merry Christmas, Woozler

by Rhonda Paglia

Giveaway ends December 10, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

I love Thanksgiving!  I love getting together with our extended family.  I look forward to our traditional Thanksgiving "feasta" with homemade pasta and sauce, turkey, stuffing, and lots of other delicious goodies!  I love it all, minus the extra pounds, of course!  I also love Thanksgiving because it's a reminder to reflect and to take some special quiet time to give thanks for all of my blessings.  

We live in a very challenging times.  Our world is changing everyday.  It is even more important to be thankful, to show appreciation to those around us, to love and hug our kids and grandkids, and to be an example of love, kindness, and caring in our world.  

So here's a simple "Grammy Pags" request this Thanksgiving:  
  • take a little time to recount your blessing and give thanks for them
  • in some little way, show your family and loved ones how much you value and appreciate them
  • send some love and peace into the hearts of everyone on Earth    

Thank you!  I am grateful for you, and I wish you a very Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Now for a little fun!  Here's a repost of the silly little story I wrote last year for the Turkey Tale Challenge. 

As part of the challenge, facebook family and friends gave me a list of 62 words they wanted to see in a Thanksgiving story - no longer than 500 words.  

Here is word list:   family, turkey, pilgrims, John, Priscilla, Indian, stuffing, pumpkin, pie, yams, green beans, parades, napping, tofurkey, love, laughter, stuffing, feast, memories, cooking, cranberries, gobble, kids, bountiful, harvest, blessings, grateful, parade, football, glutton, nap, compost, leftovers, dish-washing, cleanup, warmth, gravy, crisp, sweet, savory, moist, center pieces, don't eat me, I stuff the turkey, then the turkey stuffs me, burp, fluffy mashed potatoes, seconds. volunteer soup kitchen, snow, November, sweet, kitchen, smells. 

I used them all!  Enjoy this little Turkey Tale repost! 

Written and Illustrated by Rhonda Paglia
A Grammy Pags Story ~ just for fun!
c. 2104

Thanksgiving today:  I stuff the turkey, then the turkey stuffs me!! BURP!!!!

But, perhaps the first Thanksgiving started like this . . . 

“GOBBLE, gobble, gobble!” 

“What was that?” wondered Mrs. Pricilla John.  She was cooking green beanssweet potatoes, and pumpkin pies.  Savory smells were coming from her kitchen.

It was November.  Snow had not yet begun to fly.  Laughter filled Pricilla’s ears.  Her kids were having a pilgrim and Indian parade.  Pricilla was so grateful for these memories, for her family, and for their blessings

“GOBBLE, gobble, gobble!”  

She heard the noise again. This time it was louder, closer!   “I’m hearing things,” thought Pricilla and she went back to her work.

The parade ended.  The kids started kicking the ball.  Football, they called it.  Mr. John, known as Papa, felt like a glutton.  The compost was waiting, but he just wanted to relax and take a nap.   He was glad the kids were outside.

Pricilla added marshmallows to the yams and stirred the gravy. She made fluffy mashed potatoes.

“Something’s missing for this feast,” she said to herself.  “I need something special; something crisp, sweet, warm, and moist.   Hmm, what should it be?”

 “Not me!” whispered the Gobbler.  His knobby knees were shaking and quaking with fear! 

Suddenly a package flew in the kitchen window and landed with a crash in the sink!  Dishes that needed washed and cleaned up flew in the air!   

“What’s this?”  Pricilla jumped, she was startled!  She picked up the dripping blob, turned it over, and wiped it off.  She peeked out the window.  Her kids were still playing.  Nothing seemed unusual. 

Pricilla carefully opened the package.  She was a little nervous!  Not too many packages landed in her sink! 

Inside was something white.  The label read, “Tofurkey.  Vegetarian product.  Made only with the finest organic soybeans and tofu.”

She took a sniff.  Not much to it.  “Beans,” she thought.   “Edible.”  Pricilla had an idea!  “This is it!” she said, “our main course!!” 

“Thank you,” she called to the mysterious package thrower. 

“Gobble, gobble, good!” thought the Gobbler.  

He shut his eyes and leaned tight against the cabin wall!

He heard Pricilla whack the tofurkey with great vigor!  His heart beat faster.  He heard the stuff sizzle in her frying pan.  He could smell the stuffing and cranberries and flavors mixing together.  

Don’t eat me!” he thought.

Pricilla set the table and straightened the centerpiece. “Come and get it!” she called to her family.  “It’s a special feast!  No seconds or leftovers for the volunteer soup kitchen this night!”   

Papa John and the kids raced into the kitchen!  Delicious smells were everywhere.  The family gave thanks for their bountiful harvest.   “What a Thanksgiving Day!” said Papa.  “I think we should celebrate every year!”  And so it was!

“Gobble, gobble, PHEW!”  Mr. Turkey  backed slowly into the woods, safe for another year.  

One more thing I just have to share: 

Grammy Pags Stories has received 2 awards this fall!  I'm so excited! 

#2 - Grammy's Rockin' Color Rap-a-licious Rap just received the 2015 Gittle List Top Ten Award & Review  from Aviva Gittle Publishing.  
That's it for now!  Happy Thanksgiving!      

Rhonda Paglia ~Grammy Pags
with her 5 grandchildren:
Sofie, Sylvan, Caleb,
Orion, and Rowan
his Blog is brought to you by Grammy Pags Stories
Rhonda Paglia is a children's author, a retired elementary teacher, and a "not so retired" grandmother from Pennsylvania. She and her husband have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little Yorkie-poo named Bella.  "Grammy Pags," as she is called, enjoys gardening, tap dancing, yoga, playing the recorder, reading, and, of course, writing stories – especially for her grandkids!

Rhonda is the author of “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission,” “Three Little Gnomes and a Boy Named Orion,” “Doonsey’s Beach Adventure, the Great Rescue,” and “Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors,” her first non-fiction book.

Website:  Grammy Pags Stories

Sunday, November 15, 2015

#Kidlit Goodreads Christmas Giveaway - 5 more hours!!

What are you giving YOUR Woozler for Christmas? 

Synopsis: Sofie and Meeda are excited! Christmas is coming and it’s time to get ready! The girls are having fun when Sofie starts to think about the woozler. The grouchy woozler lives in a hole under their apple tree in the backyard. It’s cold outside, the snow is falling, and Sofie’s worried. Will the woozler be okay? Do woozlers celebrate Christmas? Will he ever become friends with Sofie and Meeda? Well, Sofie and Meeda have a plan!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Merry Christmas, Woozler by Rhonda Paglia

Merry Christmas, Woozler

by Rhonda Paglia

Giveaway ends December 10, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A helpful re-post for children's book authors

Rhonda Paglia of Grammy Pags Stories
Grammy Pags Stories Website
Hi Everyone!

I just returned from the 2015 West PA SCBWI Fall Conference [Nov. 6-7, 2015].

Right now I'm compliling ( and trying to make sense of) my conference notes.  I will share them soon.  Until then, here's an article with helpful suggestions for authors of picture books from SCBWI [the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators].  (I am assuming it's okay to share this article since SCBWI had Twitter and Facebook buttons attached to this comentary.)

To read the entire article, here is the link:  From SCBWI - Digesting Picture Books
We all know that studying picture books is important, but are you fortifying yourself with each read? Here are ideas to consider: 
Check the title. Say it aloud. What clues does it give the reader about the book? Who does it target? Is it a name or a line from the book? How long is it? Is it memorable? How does it illuminate what’s inside?
Check copyright information. Publication date? Publisher? Make a guess before you peek!
Read aloud. Garner your first impressions. What made you laugh? cry? think? slow down? keep reading? Which words were fun to say? Why?  
Read silently and carefully. Chew on words and ideas. How does each page move to the next? How does it build to a climax? Has the second reading held your interest or deepened your understanding? How? Would you read it again?
Consider mood. How is it created? Through pacing? character development? word choice? sentence length? repetition?
What elevates the book from mediocre to first-rate? Word choice? Plot? Hook? Rhyme? Rhythm? Humor? Pathos/ethos/logos? Mystery? Pacing? Repetition? Character development? Structure? Innovative strategies?
Deconstruct the first and last sentences. How does the first sentence set up the story? What information does it divulge? How does it intrigue you to keep reading? How does the last sentence wrap things up? Is there a hook or a surprise? Does it come full circle? Make you laugh? Cry? How? Why?
Read the book flap blurb. How many sentences are used? How does it hook you without revealing everything?
Grammy Pags Stories